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Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability Programme

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on the project cost of a later than originally planned in-service date of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme; (244573)

(2) when he expects the main decisions on funding for the (a) Fleet Tanker, (b) Fleet Solid Support and (c) Joint Sea-Based Logistic elements of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme to be made.

The Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) programme is in its assessment phase.

It is MOD policy not to publish in-service dates or project costs, including demonstration and manufacturing costs, while procurement programmes are still in their assessment phase.

We have reviewed the Fleet Tanker element of the MARS programme and have concluded that there is scope for considering alterative approaches to its procurement. We expect to determine a way forward in 2009, after which the main investment decision will be taken. The later classes of MARS ship, Fleet Solid Support and Joint Sea Based Logistic, are at an earlier stage of their procurement than the Fleet Tankers. It is, therefore, too early to determine when their main investment decisions will be taken.